Fre­quent­ly Asked Questions

I ac­ti­vat­ed the plu­g­in and don’t see any change!?

Did you re­mem­ber to vis­it the dis­cus­sion set­tings page, ac­ti­vate Show Avatars? You have to en­able avatars for this plu­g­in to be able to do anything.

I saved the set­tings and still don’t see any changes. How do I know the plu­g­in works?

De­pend­ing on which op­tions you se­lect­ed, you might not see a change in the way the page looks. The changes are vis­i­ble in the source code though:

  • Look at the gra­vatar im­age URL of a user with­out a gra­vatar. The plu­g­in works if the URL looks like [your site]/wp-content/uploads/avatar-privacy/cache/gravatars/[x]/[y]/[long SHA256 token]-68.png in­stead of[other long MD5 token]?s=68&[long MD5 token]%3Fs%3D68&r=PG. There aren’t two URLs in there any­more, on­ly one, and the de­fault URL looks the same for two com­ments with­out a gravatar.
  • You should see the check­box on the com­ment form. You need to log out though to see it. If you are logged in, you should see a sim­i­lar check­box in your user pro­file in the Word­Press backend.
I still don’t see the check­box in the com­ment form!? Every­thing else works.

Then you prob­a­bly don’t use a mod­ern theme which makes use of the func­tion comment_form() to cre­ate the com­ment form. Check if you can find this func­tion used in comments.php or a sim­i­lar file of your theme. If you do and it still does­n’t work, tell me. Oth­er­wise chances are that you do have to add the check­box man­u­al­ly. Use this function:

<?php if ( function_exists( 'avapr_get_avatar_checkbox' ) ) echo avapr_get_avatar_checkbox(); ?>
What hap­pens if I dis­able the plu­g­in? Are any of the da­ta altered?

The plu­g­in saves ad­di­tion­al da­ta about whether com­menters and users want to dis­play a gra­vatar or not (if you se­lect that mode in the set­tings). These da­ta are delet­ed when you prop­er­ly unin­stall the plugin.

Apart from that, the plu­g­in on­ly fil­ters da­ta, but does not per­ma­nent­ly change them. Es­pe­cial­ly, if you de­ac­ti­vate the plu­g­in und have gra­vatars turned on, they will again show up for every­body, even those com­menters and users who opt­ed out of dis­play­ing gra­vatars. You do have to change the de­fault gra­vatar back man­u­al­ly, though.

Can this plu­g­in be used to­geth­er with cache plugins?

Yes, it cer­tain­ly can. You have to be care­ful though which plu­g­in op­tions you se­lect and how you cache your con­tent. The first plu­g­in op­tion checks if a gra­vatar ex­ists for a giv­en e‑mail ad­dress and, if not, dis­plays the de­fault im­age di­rect­ly. If you cache the out­put of this check, the gra­vatar will not be dis­played if the user lat­er de­cides to sign up with Gra​vatar​.com. If you’re us­ing this op­tion, you should in­val­i­date cached pages with gra­vatars on them (most­ly the sin­gle view of en­tries) regularly.

Can this plu­g­in be used on a mul­ti­site installation?

Yes, the plu­g­in can be used on a mul­ti­site in­stal­la­tion. You can ei­ther ac­ti­vate it on in­di­vid­ual blogs or do a net­work ac­ti­va­tion. As users are glob­al to a mul­ti­site in­stal­la­tion, their choice re­gard­ing Gra​vatar​.com use will af­fect all sites in the net­work. So if a user com­ments on blog A and choos­es to dis­play gra­vatars, this de­ci­sion will be fol­lowed on blog B and C too. On new in­stal­la­tions, com­ment au­thor (i.e. non-​user) opt-​in is record­ed per site, not per net­work. If you first in­stalled Avatar Pri­va­cy 0.4 or ear­li­er, the glob­al ta­ble wp_avatar_privacy con­tin­ues to be used for all sites in the mul­ti­site net­work. This be­hav­ior can be changed by the net­work ad­min in the network-​wide Avatar Pri­va­cy set­tings, or over­ri­den via the fil­ter hook avatar_privacy_enable_global_table.

Will the avatar caching make my disk space run out?

While stor­ing the cached avatar im­ages on your own serv­er will take some ex­tra disk space, the plu­g­in makes sure that it does not grow out of bounds by delet­ing cached gra­vatars every oth­er day and all oth­er im­ages once a week. When the cached file is ac­cessed again, it is au­to­mat­i­cal­ly regenerated.

If you don’t have to wor­ry about the amount of disk space con­sumed, you can ex­tend the max­i­mum age of cached files via the fil­ter hooks avatar_privacy_gravatars_max_age and avatar_privacy_all_images_max_age. The cron job in­ter­vals can al­so be ad­just­ed via hooks (avatar_privacy_gravatars_cleanup_interval and avatar_privacy_all_images_cleanup_interval, re­spec­tive­ly).

Won’t spam com­ments flood the data­base ta­ble with use­less en­tries for the check­box in the com­ment form?

The plu­g­in does­n’t save the val­ue of the “use gra­vatar” check­box for com­ments by reg­is­tered users (see be­low), trackbacks/​pingbacks (there is no e‑mail ad­dress) and com­ments that are marked as spam when they are saved. If you mark a com­ment as spam lat­er, the ta­ble en­try is not re­moved, since the same e‑mail ad­dress might al­so be used by non-​spam com­ments. If a com­ment is marked as spam by Ak­ismet or sim­i­lar plu­g­ins and you lat­er man­u­al­ly mark it as non-​spam, what the user se­lect­ed when sub­mit­ting the com­ment will al­ready be lost. This on­ly hap­pens with spam com­ments, not com­ments who just need to be mod­er­at­ed, e.g. be­cause of the ‘needs at least one pub­lished com­ment’ rule.

Can com­menters over­ride a reg­is­tered user’s choice whether to dis­play a gra­vatar by cre­at­ing fake comments?

No, for reg­is­tered users the user pro­file is checked, not the ta­ble for the com­menter’s choic­es. Com­menters can not over­ride this val­ue, not even the user them­selves if they post a com­ment when not signed-in.

Which plu­g­ins are known to work with Avatar Privacy?

I’ve used Avatar Pri­va­cy to­geth­er with these plugins:

Please note that sev­er­al Jet­pack by Word​Press​.com mod­ules do not work well with Avatar Pri­va­cy be­cause they gen­er­ate their HTML markup on the Word​Press​.com servers.

If you find any prob­lems with par­tic­u­lar plu­g­ins, please tell me!

What hap­pens if I re­move the plugin?

There is a dif­fer­ence be­tween de­ac­ti­vat­ing the plu­g­in and unin­stalling it. The plu­g­in gets de­ac­ti­vat­ed if you do so on the plu­g­ins page or if you sim­ply delete the plu­g­in files via FTP. No unin­stal­la­tion tasks are per­formed then, so you can ac­ti­vate and de­ac­ti­vate the plu­g­in as you want with­out los­ing the plug­in’s settings.

If you de­ac­ti­vate the plu­g­in und have gra­vatars turned on, they will again show up for every­body, even those com­menters and users who opt­ed out of dis­play­ing gra­vatars. If you changed the de­fault avatar to one of the new lo­cal avatar im­ages, the gra­vatars will not be dis­played un­til you change the de­fault avatar im­age back.

OK, but I re­al­ly want to get rid of every­thing. How do I that?

If you want to com­plete­ly unin­stall the plu­g­in and get rid of any da­ta in the data­base, you should prop­er­ly unin­stall it: De­ac­ti­vate the plu­g­in first via the Word­Press plu­g­ins page and then click Delete (same page, next to the plu­g­in). For mul­ti­site in­stal­la­tions, this has to be done by the net­work ad­min­is­tra­tor on the net­work plu­g­ins page.

The plu­g­in saves ad­di­tion­al da­ta about whether com­menters and users want to dis­play a gra­vatar or not (if you se­lect that mode in the set­tings). The fol­low­ing da­ta are stored by the plu­g­in and delet­ed up­on uninstallation:

  • cus­tom table(s) [prefix]_avatar_privacy (glob­al or per blog on new mul­ti­site installations)
  • usermeta val­ues per user: use_gravatar, avatar_privacy_hash, avatar_privacy_user_avatar
  • option per blog: avatar_privacy_settings
  • op­tion per net­work (sitemeta) on mul­ti­site in­stal­la­tions: avatar_privacy_salt
  • transient per com­menter: avapr_check_[mail hash]

The de­fault avatar im­age is set to the mys­tery man if you se­lect­ed one of the new lo­cal de­fault avatar images.